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Hezbular

by: Rabbi Jeremy Rosen

Before you point out my apparent spelling mistake, may I say that I refuse to use a name which incorporates God’s, even in Arabic, when talking about such savages who desecrate the Divine name.

The return by Hezbular of the corpses of Israeli soldiers Goldwasser and Regev , captured alive, murdered in cold blood, in contravention of the Geneva Convention, ought to be a source for universal condemnation of barbarism. But all I see as I look for international condemnation, all I hear is silence.

Two Israeli soldiers were captured and now it seems, according to Arabic tradition in the Middle East, tortured, mutilated, and killed. This is not isolated. You might recall what happened to two Israeli reservists who strayed into Ramallah and had their hearts literally torn out of their bodies and displayed to the roaring crowd. We won’t even begin to talk about the inter-Muslim butchery in Iraq before and after Saddam Hussein.

Guantanamo Bay may be an affront to Western values, but no one was murdered in cold blood after being caught. Israel kills civilians in collateral damage, which I disapprove of, but this is not the same thing as direct, sanctioned murder. Apologists like to talk about Jewish terror before the state. And there was–both British excesses and Irgun retaliation, not to mention the Stern Gang. Not only were they condemned by all mainstream representative bodies, but also by the vast majority of the Jewish populace. Indeed, if you recall, the Altalena affair was when the new Israeli government forcibly suppressed them. I know full well that Israelis have also committed war crimes, and there have been Jewish terrorists too. But never has there been this barbaric blood lust, this glorification of killing even infants. Comparisons are facile and insulting.

The usual suspects all love to use the Geneva Convention to beat Israel over the head regularly, and I won’t say they are wrong. But where is their condemnation of the murder of captives? Hezbular is not a government, so it may?

I am, as you know, no hawk. I dislike right wing Israeli policies. I abhor the abuse of Arab rights and I am a peacenik at heart. But when I see the world remaining silent, the utter hypocrisy of the so-called civilized world, frankly I simply cannot add my voice to the critics of Israel, if only in the interests of some sort of balance.

There are, indeed, honorable, civilized, lovely, kind, tolerant Arabs. But so long as the Arab street is a murderous gang of blood curdling, blood drinking, fanatical savages who think nothing of killing each other, I do not believe peace is possible. Barricades are far from ideal, but if they keep the barbarians out they serve a purpose.

I know I ought not to use such provocative language. There have been rare cases of Israeli brutality too. It is the fact that the world media is silent on this issue that so offends me and convinces me that unless we take care of ourselves no one else will. Even if there is a peace settlement, separation of a population that contains such an element of bloodthirsty lunatics is the only way to survive. I know it will be said by some, you see it on the blogs, that Israel is responsible for dehumanizing those it occupies. But come on–if Israel were the only place this happened in the Middle East or North Africa I might agree; but it is not. This world is an imperfect place and solutions are imperfect, but survival trumps most other values.